Concept

Generation Jones

Summary
Generation Jones is the social cohort of the latter half of the baby boomer generation to the first year of Generation X. The term Generation Jones was first coined by the American cultural commentator Jonathan Pontell, who identified the cohort as those born from 1954 to 1965 in the U.S., who were children during Watergate, the oil crisis, and stagflation rather than during the 1950s, but slightly before Gen X. Unlike "leading-edge boomers", most of Generation Jones did not grow up with World War II veterans as fathers, and, as they reached adulthood, there was no compulsory military service and no defining political cause, as opposition to United States involvement in the Vietnam War was for the older boomers. Their parents' generation was sandwiched between the Greatest Generation and the Baby Boomers. Also, by 1955, a majority of U.S. households had at least one television set, and so unlike Leading-Edge Boomers born from the mid 1940s to the early 1950s, many members of Generation Jones (trailing-edge boomers) have never lived in a world without television—similar to how many members of Generation Z (1997–2012) have never lived in a world without personal computers or the internet, or mobile phones. Generation Jones were children during the sexual revolution of the 1960s and 1970s and were young adults when HIV/AIDS became a worldwide threat in the 1980s. The majority of Generation Jonesers reached maturity from the early to late 70s, while younger members came of age in the early 80s. The name "Generation Jones" has several connotations, including a large anonymous generation, a "keeping up with the Joneses" competitiveness and the slang word "jones" or "jonesing", meaning a yearning or craving. Pontell suggests that Jonesers inherited an optimistic outlook as children in the 1960s, but were then confronted with a different reality as they entered the workforce during Reaganomics and the shift from a manufacturing to a service economy, which ushered in a long period of mass unemployment.
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